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Thursday, June 4, 2009


(Pic: Nadarajan Naicker receiving his award))

Durban Tamil singer honoured in India.

Durban devotional singer, Tamil scholar and priest Nadarajan Naicker has been honoured by an ancient religious institution in South India for his contribution to Saivism.

The Dharmapuram Adheenam recently bestowed the rare title Thevaram Isai Mani (Jewel of Thevaram singing) on Nadarajan Naicker at a ceremony in Chennai. Thevaram are divine poems written by south Indian sages and saints in praise of Lord Siva.

Nadarajan Naicker left South Africa in 1968 to study Tamil and spiritual songs at the Dharmapuram Adheenam. He studied Thevaram singing under Dharmapuram Gnanaprakasan who was a pupil of the music genius, professor M M Dhandapani Desikar. In 1970, he enrolled at the Annamalai University for a four-year Sangeetha Bhushanam course. He obtained a second class pass in practical vocal music. He returned to India in 1975 and trained in Thevaram singing under Dharmapuram Sami Dhandapani for two years.

For the past three decades, Nadarajan Naicker has been teaching Tamil at several Durban schools and is an officiating priest at weddings and other religious ceremonies.

Last month he was invited by the Dharmapuram Adheenam to join religious leaders from Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore and United Kingdom who were feted at a special event in Chennai. The 26th pontiff of the Saivite monastery, Guru Mahasanidhanam Sri-la-Sri Shanmukha Desika Gnanasambhanda Paramaachaarya Swamigal, blessed him and bestowed on him the title of Thevaram Isai Mani. Mr Naicker also gave a two-hour Thevaram recital in front of a packed auditorium.

“I am humbled by the honour that was conferred on me by the citadel of Tamil and Saivite culture, the Dharmapuram Adheenam, says Nadarajan Naicker. “Now I feel even more motivated to promote religious singing whilst also propagating Tamil language and culture.”